Lots of little birds on Outback Key at Fort Desoto. After a morning of looking through all of these little birds for anything unusual with no luck, I headed over the fishing pier to see what was going on there.
My friend TOTO was hanging out near the fishing pier (he is tagged with a band that has TOTO on it). He’s been around for years.
A snowy plover was skipping around in low tide.
Sushi for breakfast.
Pelicans were also diving for their sushi breakfast.
“Whatta you want lady?”
I think that’s a piece of apple in this crow’s beak. At least it’s not a chip.
What is he doing up here? I have never seen a reddish egret hanging around the fishing pier. They are usually feeding along the shoreline.
It was a quiet morning at Fort Desoto in late June. I was there very early so there wasn’t many people on the beach. I found one of the local reddish egrets dancing around hunting for fish and couldn’t help but take a ton of pictures of him. He uses his wings to shade the water so he can see the fish better so it appears as if he’s dancing. He puts on quite a show.
All of a sudden he realizes that two snowy egrets have moved in on his spot.
He tried to chase them away but then ended up flying far down the beach.
I usually only see reddish egrets on the gulf beaches but I found this one at a park on the bay near downtown St. Pete. I was bummed that the sun wasn’t out to show off his pretty colors but he’s still an amazing bird.
An osprey flew right over my head.
Usual things on the beach. Coconuts (although they look like tree boobs to me) and mangrove crabs.
The view from North Shore Park just north of downtown St. Pete on the bay.
I stopped by the Safety Harbor fishing pier on the way home and just missed the greyhound meet up. I would have liked to have gotten pictures of them all together but they were just leaving to go on a walk around Safety Harbor. The dog in the first picture was wondering why he couldn’t go although he looked pretty happy just chilling by the water.
There were few birds out on the beach at Fort Desoto when I visited during the peak of the red tide algae bloom. The few there were busy eating breakfast. Some were eating the dead sea life that had washed up on shore. I didn’t see any birds acting sick during this trip. Volunteers were out on the beach every day looking for sick birds that could be affected by eating too much of the dead fish. I kept yelling “Don’t eat that.” but they weren’t listening.
A cormorant and osprey were fighting over a lamp-post on the pier.
Even the crows were eating the dead fish. The park rangers kept raking up the shoreline but the dead fish kept washing up on shore.
Royal terns in the air.
The sandbar spit across the channel was full of birds.
A few of the regulars at the pier; the famous great blue heron/great egret hybrid, a ruddy turnstone, a reddish egret, lots of snowy egrets always looking for a handout and great blue heron and reddish egret fighting over space on the railing.
Skimmers were skimming the bait fish.
This reddish egret was bored with me.
Shots of a beautiful morning at the pier. These were taken in early September, before Irma.
It’s always fun to see Red breasted mergansers swimming around near the shore line at Fort Desoto. They are always bobbing for fish and stay busy preening themselves. There were several swimming around in a shallow lagoon near the north beach.
Then the reddish egret photo bombed my shot of the red breasted mergansers diving. He was strutting around like “Hey why are you taking pictures of those ducks when you could be taking pictures of me?”
Then I started taking pictures of the reddish egret.
And a tricolored heron photo bombed my last shot of the reddish egret.
This is the rare hybrid that was seen recently hanging around the fishing pier. Local experts say it’s a cross between a great blue heron and a great egret. He’s got a great blue heron beak and body but legs of a great egret. I found him pretty easily right on the pier, looking for a handout like the other birds.
Great blue heron portrait.
An osprey flying by.
This snowy egret has found a good perch.
Someone caught a big one.
It’s always fun to guess where these big ships are going.
Two baby osprey were peaking out over the nest in the parking lot and the nest on top of the smoke stack next to the bait store.
Dad was close by with lunch. I think he was going to eat some first before he took it over to the nest.
You can almost always find a reddish egret fishing somewhere on the beach.
It rare to see a common loon here in the spring. Especially in his summer breeding colors. When they hang out here during the winter, they are a drab gray color. This one stayed pretty far away from the fishing pier.
Big gulp. There are signs at the fish cleaning station to “Not feed or throw fish parts to the birds” They all do it anyway. In theory it seems okay but the cormorants hang around the pier and get too close and end up getting caught with fishing hooks.
The dolphins playing around the pier.
My Saturday morning walk at Fort Desoto in late May.